SD lawmakers hear ND energy story

“It’s that educational perspective.”

Ed Anderson, South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) general manager, is talking about the annual tour SDREA organizes with Basin Electric to show South Dakota’s legislators the heart of energy production in North Dakota. “This tour brings the pieces of the puzzle together. And, it’s the impression of the scope and magnitude of what we do, how important it is and how environmentally conscious electric co-ops are about the way that we produce power,” he says.

Each year, Anderson brings 10-15 South Dakota senators and representatives to North Dakota to learn just what it takes to makes the lights come on when they flip the switch.

On July 29, the twelve legislators had an opportunity to see power generation and transmission up close as they toured Antelope Valley Station, Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant and The Coteau Properties Company Freedom Mine.

“What’s really interesting to me overall is to figure out what goes on behind the switch,” said
Rep. Jeff Partridge, R-District 34, South Dakota House of Representatives.

The tour of the Freedom Mine turned out to be a highlight of the day. The legislators were given the opportunity to see the inside of a dragline.

Sen. Terri Haverly, R-District 35, South Dakota Senate, had an opportunity to sit in the seat of the dragline operator at the Freedom Mine while the dragline was down for maintenance.

Sen. Terri Haverly, R-District 35, South Dakota Senate, had an opportunity to sit in the seat of the dragline operator at the Freedom Mine while the dragline was down for maintenance.

“I had no idea the cost that was involved behind the scenes of these operations just to make it easy for us to flip a switch on it and enjoy it,” Sen. Bob Ewing, R-District 31, South Dakota Senate.

Watch the video to see more of their visit and tour of North Dakota’s energy operations.

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